Philippines reports first local transmission of new coronavirus

 The Philippines on Friday reported the first local transmission of the new Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, after a 62-year-old man with no travel history tested positive for the disease.

The man was admitted to hospital with severe pneumonia on March 1, and tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

“He has no known history of travel outside of the country,’’ he added.

Another Filipino patient, a 48-year-old lawyer, tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from a trip to Tokyo, Duque said.

Both patients are now confined at a state-run hospital.

“Contact tracing is being done for the two cases and samples have already been collected from close contacts,’’Duque said.

He added that the Department of Health is also coordinating with local government to identify persons who have interacted with the two patients.

Prior to the two new cases, three confirmed infections in the Philippines involved Chinese visitors, including one who died from the disease.

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